By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
The Sikorsky Defiant helicopter achieved its first flight, according to the company.
It took place at Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach, Florida site. “This revolutionary aircraft, developed by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, and Boeing, will help inform the next generation of military helicopters as part of the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift program.”
According to their statement. “DEFIANT is designed to fly at nearly twice the speed and has twice the range of conventional helicopters while retaining the very best, if not better low-speed and hover performance of conventional helicopters,” said Dan Spoor, vice president, Sikorsky Future Vertical Lift.
With two coaxial main rotors and a rear-mounted pusher propulsor, that looks like the prop on a submarine, the Defiant looks like something out of the future. it is maneuverable and cost-effective. “The design and development of DEFIANT has revealed the capability advancement that is truly possible for Future Vertical Lift,” said David Koopersmith, vice president and general manager, Boeing Vertical Lift.
According to the company, “the helicopter is participating in the Army’s Joint Multi-Role-Medium Technology Demonstrator program. Data from DEFIANT will help the Army develop requirements for new utility helicopters expected to enter service in the early 2030s. ”
So that is a while in the future. Other parts of the body look remarkably similar to helicopters dating back to at least the 1970s when the Black Hawk first took flight. In its origins it goes back even further.